At Mulgrave we want our children to become enthusiastic, passionate and engaged readers, and to develop a life-long love of books. We introduce the children to a range of good quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry books through our whole-class, core-text approach to teaching reading, and during their weekly guided reading session.
In the early stages of reading, we teach children to decode words using phonic skills as their main approach, alongside which we teach sight vocabulary. Once grasped, the focus for developing reading is understanding and comprehension, as well as recognizing and understanding words in context. We encourage children to use dictionaries to look up meaning of words they do not understand to further develop a bank of words for future use. Your child will read with their class teacher once a week during their guided reading session, then independently supported by teacher set activities during the rest of the week related to specific skills.
HOME READING AND READING FOR PLEASURE
Developing readers will bring home levelled books and a picture book each week. Independent readers will bring home self-selected books from their book corner. Please spend time reading with and talking to your child about what they read, and help them to use their reading log to record their enjoyment of reading. Pupils can earn bookmarks for using their reading logs effectively.
Please see the documents attached for each year group on exemplar questions that you can use when reading with your child at home.
Please click here to access a list of recommended reading books for each year group (Year 2 - Year 6).
At Mulgrave, phonics is taught daily to all children in Nursery, Reception and Key Stage One. We use the Letters and Sounds programme to teach children the letters of the alphabet and their matching sounds.
The children are taught to read words by blending, which means saying each sound and then pushing all the sounds together to make a word. The children are taught to spell words by segmenting, which means sounding out words and writing down the sounds they can hear.
By the end of Reception children are expected to know all Phase Three sounds. By the end of Year One all children are expected to know all Phase Five sounds. By the time they have finished Key Stage One, most children at Mulgrave are secure in Phase Six sounds. This phase moves away from learning sounds and focuses on spelling rules and patterns.
At the end of Year One all the children in the country take a test called a Phonics Screening. They have to read 40 real and nonsense words. We call the nonsense words ‘Alien words’ and the children practise reading them every day. To see an example of the test click here.
Alongside phonics, we also teach the children how to spell from Year 1 onwards. We believe that learning to spell is an important tool for your child to use as an essential part of day-to-day life, as well as in their learning. We teach spelling using an investigative and collaborative approach, focusing on spelling patterns, prefixes and suffixes, knowledge of word origin and root words. At the end of Year Two, children will have a spelling test and also at the end of Year Six.
Please see the leaflet at the bottom of this page for the spelling rules and patterns that we teach in each year group.
At Mulgrave, we use a core text approach over a half term to plan quality written outcomes. This high quality literature is used to engage and inspire the pupils, and provide rich models of writing for them to imitate in their own independent writing, through style, voice and language structure.
The beginning of the half term is spent on the first stage of the writing process - inspire, immerse and analyse, with the remainder of the term spent on planning, quality written outcomes, editing then publishing. A week is devoted to producing the final written outcome as the children are not expected to produce a whole written outcome in one lesson, but rather build up to it over time. Children use cursive handwriting to publish their learning.
All classrooms at Mulgrave have an English Learning Wall which provides scaffolds and models for the pupils’ writing, including higher order vocabulary, examples of a range of sentence types, and models of the quality written outcome that the children are working towards. The learning walls are updated continuously over the half term to support pupil learning.
We also promote the teaching of global issues at Mulgrave, especially in Upper key stage 2, where children are taught current affairs such as climate change, Refugees, conflict and poverty. This enables pupils to think critically about core issues that are taking place in our world today. We also encourage pupils to better understand their role in a globally-interdependent world and to explore strategies by which they can make it more just and sustainable; become more familiar with the concepts of interdependence, development, globalisation and sustainability; move from a charity mentality to a social justice mentality; gain greater awareness of poverty and sustainability. This all will ensure that our children are able to think critically about global issues to take the steps needed in this rapidly changing world.
GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION
At Mulgrave, grammar and punctuation is taught during English sessions through contextualised learning linked to the core-text, as well as in separate Grammar lessons in order to reinforce key grammatical concepts. Language and punctuation skills are taught through analysis of the author’s use of effective vocabulary choices, language structures and writing style, and by using the core-text as a model during the writing process. Children are given opportunities to imitate the author’s style, reflect on why the writing is effective, then to practise and develop their own writing style using the skills they have learnt.
Please see the leaflet at the bottom of this page for the punctuation and grammar that we teach in each year group.
Please find our Grammar Maps below: